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Think Small: On Literary Modeling

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020


Literary studies continues to have a penchant for great men. In 2015, for example, 20% of authors listed as subjects in the MLA International Bibliography accounted for just under 60% of all articles or book chapters published that year. Just the top 1% of authors, or 33 in total, accounted for 1,302 works, or 20.8% of the total. Four of these authors were women, and one was not white (W. E. B. Du Bois). Those numbers are even slightly more concentrated than in 1970, when 1% of authors accounted for 15.9% of all articles and book chapters. In that year, only one of the most frequently mentioned authors was a woman (George Eliot), and all were white.

Theories and Methodologies
Copyright © 2017 The Modern Language Association of America

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